Rutgers suspends 2 football players after paintball shooting

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Rutgers defensive back Max Melton (16) makes a play on a pass intended for Delaware wide receiver Brett Buckman (13) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Piscataway, N.J. Rutgers won, 45-13. (Andrew Mills/NJ Advance Media via AP)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Two Rutgers players have been suspended from the football team after they were charged in an incident in which three people were struck by paintballs fired from a passing vehicle.

Coach Greg Schiano took the action Tuesday, shortly after defensive backs Malachi “Max” Melton and Chris Long were each charged with three counts of aggravated assault and a weapons count. The charges stem from an incident Monday night in the area of the school’s Livingston Campus in Piscataway. It’s not known if either player has retained an attorney.

Melton has recorded two interceptions — including one he returned for a 46-yard touchdown against Temple — and a blocked punt in three games this season. Long has seen time on special teams in all three games this season and played in two games last season.

The Scarlet Knights open Big Ten play Saturday when they take on No. 19 Michigan in Ann Arbor.

University police say the shooting occurred around 10 p.m. Monday. The three students hit by the paintballs suffered minor injuries but declined medical attention at the scene.

A subsequent investigation led to the arrests early Tuesday of the 19-year-old players, who were released on their own recognizance. They are due to make their initial court appearances on Nov. 4.

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Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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12/21 @ Marquette 9:00pm FS1
12/28 @ Xavier 7:00pm FS1
1/1 vs. Butler 4:00pm FS1
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1/12 vs. St. John’s 8:30pm FS1
1/15 @ Providence 2:00pm FS1
1/20 @ Butler 9:00pm FS1
1/25 @ Georgetown 8:30pm CBS SN
1/29 @ DePaul 6:30pm FS1
2/1 vs. Creighton 6:30pm FS1
2/5 @ Villanova Noon FOX
2/8 vs. Marquette 6:30pm FS1
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2/16 vs. Seton Hall 8:30pm CBS SN
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